At least readers don’t need to wonder about Ed Hazard’s motivation when he cites unsubstantiated employment and revenue figures to oppose Measure P — the ban on risky oil extraction that will be on the ballot in November — as president of an association that advertises itself as “the only national organization representing solely, and without compromise, oil and gas royalty owners’ interests.”
No compromise for the sick neighbors who live downwind and downstream of extreme extraction happening everywhere in the country that hasn’t banned these practices.
No compromise for the adjacent landowners whose property values plummet after their peaceful place in the country is transformed into an industrial wasteland, and no compromise for simple arithmetic: The $291 million he touts as “economic benefits to Santa Barbara County” is the approximate total revenue earned by all the oil companies operating here — only one of which is based in the county. His 6,300 jobs figure is inflated by over 1,400 percent, as the industry itself reports fewer than 400 employees in Santa Barbara County.
Senate Bill 4 does not address cyclic steam injection, which is probably the most potentially harmful technique threatening our county. At least 900 new wells planned in the next year are expected to undergo steam injection unless Measure P passes. And what’s our recourse after our groundwater’s been poisoned by even well-regulated processes?
Mr. Hazard’s royalties and Santa Barbara County’s revenue and jobs will not be compromised since Measure P will not touch existing operations or future conventional extraction.